Picking Up Artsy Girls, Shaving Mystification, and “Am I a Jealous Jerk?”

by A Lady

Here is my question…[clears throat]:

I find myself really attracted to artsy girls. I’m a well-read film snob who makes weird electronic music; I’d consider my interests very eclectic. On the other end, I’m a former frat boy who wears non-ironic argyle. I work in finance and even belong to a yacht club. My dress code / occupation (the things that I do) are more visible aspects of my identity than the things I like. First impressions are super important. How do I confidently approach and engage an artsy girl while I’m almost certain her / her friends are scoffing at my penny loafers and polo shirt? Changing my dress code is out of the question.

You could go up to a girl you’re into and be like, “Wanna bang on my yacht? You can make your shitty art while I fuck around on Beatmaker afterwards.” Pleeeease, please, please do that. Or, I don’t know, next time you’re indulging one of your eclectic interests at some very specific event be like, “Oh I see you also like Italian futurist films of the early 20th century,” or whatever kind of things you’re used to talking about. Approach artsy girls the same way you’d approach any other kind of girl, is all I’m saying. You’ve got a bunch of neat stuff to talk about! Music, literature, film, that time a bunch of you jerked off on a cookie and fed it to each other, etc. Very confident and comfortable with yourself! You’re doing great! Wait, are you ugly? Is that it? I can’t tell from here, but even if you ARE ugly, don’t sweat it — plenty of funny-looking dudes bag super hot artsy chicks. Life is funny that way! #life #Brooklyn

I wouldn’t sweat the style thing too much, either. Do you know how many copies of Take Ivy sold last year? Like, a million copies. No one is making fun of your loafers.

But whatever you look like, I think the main thing to remember is to never, ever assume anything about a girl. Just like, across the board don’t do that, it’s a complete waste of time. And especially don’t assume what a creative-type is into based on how she’s dressed or what her friends are laughing at. Because you’re wrong. Even if you’re sort of right and act on that assumption, you’re wrong and now you’re a prick for trying to fit her into your mold. And now you’ve reminded her that she’s soooo-oo-ooo tired of guys who figure she likes [some thing] just ’cause she has [some tattoo] on her [some part of body] and her friends are like, “Ugh, I KNOW” and you’re like, “Wait, what just happened?” and they’re all like, “[eye rolls]” and everything’s already ruined with you and the girl when really the two of you SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT BANGING ON THAT YACHT and her friends should be in a cab to who cares. So yeah, maybe don’t judge a book by its cover and your book wont get judged by its argyle? Who knows. Anyway, you’re being ridiculous! Chill out, high-five something, and then WHY DON’T YOU JUST GO TALK TO HER. Go talk to her. Go talk to her.

OK so here is my problem. I’m a fellow lady and I don’t understand shaving pubic hair. People are always like, blah blah blah ladies shave, I shave, she shaves, we shave, they shave, etc., as if it’s the most normal thing in the world. But like, how do people SHAVE their vaginas? Do they shave into their butt cracks? How far back do they go? Isn’t there a part where they have to STOP shaving because they can’t reach/angle the razor? And then isn’t it weird that there’s like a line where their pubic hair begins/stops? All I do is get full waxes or do nothing, or sometimes trim with scissors, but also please explain shaving to me. And also isn’t it the most awful to have shavey stubble on your VAGINA? Honestly, this whole situation is so mystifying to me, and what’s most mystifying is that I so frequently feel like I’m the only one wondering this. I guess my main question is — how do you shave a vagina? Do you not care about buttcracks? Do you shave your buttcrack? Is that so uncomfortable? Why is this so hard for me?

No, you’re not the only one wondering this. Have you ever googled “pussy shaving”? Cause I just did, and it seems like EvErYoNe wants to know more about it. So many porns about shaving! I actually remember a few of us looking at my friend’s parents’ copy of the Madonna Sex book in third grade, and turning to the picture of her plowin’ it in a bathtub and holding my breath for five minutes straight and not moving. I think I was afraid that if I moved she’d cut herself? I didn’t know a lot about photography in third grade. Anyway, I think that’s still kind of where I’m at with it. (Shaving, I mean. I know a lot about photography now.) But I guess you could watch some of that amateur shaving porn that there is SO MUCH of (like, SO MUCH of. And you don’t even really have to try that hard or be creative when you’re looking for it) to find out how it works and how far back they go and all of that. I’d imagine that yes, the stubble and ingrown hair situation would drive a Lady insane. Also the situation of having a thing designed to cut stuff THAT CLOSE to your Parts makes me NeRrRvOuSsSssS. So yeah, sorry, I don’t know the answer!! I DO know that you can buy tiny razors for the “bikini area” at Duane Reade, next to the normal-sized razors. They come in packs of three and look like what a doll would use to kill herself. There’s also this video that has some other products and information that might be helpful.

If you don’t have time to watch it, basically:

1. Buy this. Buy enough of them, just in case.

2. They both want the underwear, but only one of them is pretty enough to have it, and it might not be the one you think.


You’re supposed to shave once on the left, once on the right, and then shave a little square into the middle. And then afterwards you take a marker and draw a lightning bolt in the square.

4. I think she said you’re allowed to put makeup on it when you’re done?

And THAT is how you shave a vagina. Any questions? Other than all of the original ones, I mean. I think yes, you shave all the way up your butt until your arm breaks, final answer.

Over the past two months or so I’ve found myself in a gradually more serious but still unofficial relationship with a lady friend of mine. In theory this is a great development, because she’s incredible and I love being with her. But there are some complications. The first is that she is uncertain — she’s told me she doesn’t know how she feels about me, and she doesn’t really believe I or anyone else could actually like her. Kind of strange, yes, but then while cuddling recently she dropped a bombshell: a while back, she had multiple incidents with a very bad dude. It may have been more extreme, but she says she doesn’t remember exactly how far things went — the fact of the matter is she said no, she told him he was hurting her, and he kept going.

Now let me explain that my friend has sort of a reputation for being careless in her hook-ups. She told me she liked hooking up with guys and bringing them back to her place, then telling them to leave — she liked that feeling of power, she said, which seems like part of something else. The point is: when she told him to leave, this guy didn’t listen. Not only that, but he came back to her a few weeks later and she found herself letting him in, and it happened again. And because we all orbit in the same social circles, she continues to see him at parties (often with his girlfriend [!!!]) and he continues to harass her not infrequently. I told her she was at the very least assaulted, but she says that isn’t really the case because (in her own words) she’s a tease and invited him to her room, let him in when he came back, she was too drunk in either case, and so on. I guess implicitly she’s telling me she believes she deserved this.

She was embarrassed about these events when they happened and so when she told her girl-friends about it, she cleansed some details and just said she had hooked up with a creepy douchebag, haha how funny is that — now it is a joke among all of them. She admitted to me that this hurts her, despite her initial instinct being that if she could make it into a joke then it would stop having power over her. It seems that of anyone, I’ve come the closest to getting a straight version of this, and I don’t like it at all. I suppose it’s needless to say that she hasn’t reported the guy for anything because she doesn’t believe or want to believe something happened, and obviously, she needs help.

My concern here has kind of passed beyond the simple “liking a lady, but there are obstacles” kind and into broader human concern territory. Not only as someone who is interested in her romantically, but someone who is and has been her friend, it’s awful for me to see her treat herself like this. I have no problem, I think, if the relationship-as-such doesn’t work out — I’ve often told her we’re friends before anything else, especially if either of us isn’t sure about the “anything else.” But that’s not so important now in the larger picture. I find myself in a delicate place: how can I help her or tell her to go to someone, to maybe somehow report this dude, to at the very least get help, in a sensitive way and without seeming like I’ve suddenly decided to be her emotional and moral custodian? Is it possible for me to communicate to her not only that my concern is real, but that she deserves it?


Jkjkjkjkjk! Yikes, sorry. Yes, it’s possible for you to communicate that you care about her and want her to be doing better for herself and that she deserves to feel good about herself and deserves the kind of peace one hopes to attain by dealing with and working through a traumatic event. You could… tell her that? Like, next time it comes up you could tell her any or all of those things. And you can make sure she knows you’re there for her, and that you’re available for whatever emotional support she needs from you (the caveat being that you have to then actually make yourself available for that) and if she’s receptive, you can suggest that she consider talking to a therapist or counselor or another professional who is equipped to help her deal with the trauma she suffered and help release her from the power she feels it has over her. And then you can drop it, until or unless she asks for your help or opinion. Don’t be pushy, and be wary of starting to sound like you think you know more about what she needs than she does. Let her know you care and want her to be happy and healthy (not because it’s awful for you to see her treat herself badly, by the way, but because you care about how she feels about herself, because you are her friend), and then let her work her shit out however she wants to and thinks is best for her.

Also, though — you didn’t ask, but Jesus Christ dude, you two need to figure out the “anything else” like, NOW. For both of your sakes (and mine, just in case you write back in a few months with a whole new set of horrible problems). She doesn’t know how she feels about you, but she likes to cuddle and tell you all of her secrets that she doesn’t tell anyone else. You’re her friend before anything else, but you also like to cuddle and have suddenly decided to be her emotional and moral custodian (even though you don’t want to seem like it). You guys need some motherfucking boundaries, STAT. Not least of all because she’s already told you that she likes to play power-games with guys who are romantically interested in her (hey wait, aren’t you romantically interested in her?), and has low self esteem (not believing that anyone could actually like you isn’t “strange,” dude, it’s fucked up). I’m not gonna say that the two of you need to stop developing or whatever, cause I’m not your parents, but there are just like a million things about your letter that lead me to believe that (spoiler alert) this isn’t going to magically blossom into an awesome and healthy relationship. It definitely could turn into an awesome and healthy relationship! But you guys have a bunnnnnnch of work to do before that happens, sounds like! Start with figuring out what the fuck is going on with you two, making some rules about what’s going on with you two, and if you’re gonna be her rock while she figures her shit out — and talking about how that’s going to affect what goes on between you two. And like, BE HONEST. Cause it sounds like your friend has a lot to think about and deal with, and if she needs the space of not being your girlfriend to do that, then definitely give it to her.

Oh, and Dude, if you’re at all offering all of this emotional support as a way of creeping over into that space (I am not saying that’s what you’re doing, but just in case it is) don’t be surprised when it blows up in your face. Anyway, good luck you two!

Recently, I got out of a relationship of just over a year. Literally the first weekend I was single, a girl came on to me hard, then took me back to her place for some fooling around and breakfast the next day. Wow! Awesome! I’m hot! Right? We went on a proper date after that: nothing spectacular, but fun enough that I wanted to see her again. We were both already planning to attend an upcoming nightlife event, so we agreed to look for each other. Well, I saw her there but didn’t get a chance to say hi — she was all over another dude the entire night. I was kind of upset, but I told myself to get over it. It’s not like we were exclusive or her actions should be dictated by knowing I’d be there. Then the next night, totally unplanned, I saw her again with ANOTHER dude, same deal. At this point my interest had cooled — I thought due to our different attitudes toward PDA. (For the record, I have always thought that fleeting, flirtatious, slightly sneaky contact is way sexier than mounting an invasion and extended occupation of another person’s tonsils.)

But then some time later, I saw her again, unescorted this time, and offered a friendly hug and hello. I felt like some explanation of the lapse in contact was warranted, though, and said: “I saw you at the thing a while ago! I would have said hi, but you seemed a little… busy.” I swear that in my head this sounded funny and nonchalant. Of course, as soon as it passed my lips, I realized that it was total passive-aggressive slutshaming and tried to backtrack (only making things worse, I’m sure). She ran off and found another dude to make out with. (Not being nasty; that is what actually happened and no less than I deserved.) Am I a jealous asshole jerk holding women I date to an unfair standard? I was never like that before! What is wrong with me?

OMG, you mad! But no, there’s nothing wrong with you. You just got out of a relationship, fooled around/ate breakfast with a girl to get your confidence back up (“I’m hot! Right?” — You, from before) and then blah blah blah whatever. If only there were a conveniently sports-related term for that kind of thing. Let’s call it a bounce-back. So your bounce-back bounced on to the next one, and now you mad ’cause you thought she’d hang around at least long enough for you to tell her that you’re not even that into her? I mean, I get it (sort of?), but also, get over it.

I don’t know you (duh) or the relationship you got out of, but it’s possible (probable) that whatever happened there is affecting how you’re thinking about girls and relating to girls now, which is fine/normal/good/growth. Maybe your last girlfriend was into the PDA thing, and now when you see it you’re like, “ahhhh another girl that’s into that thing I hate!” and lash out at her. Maybe your past relationship was SUPER CLOSE and Committed and now that’s what you expect from all of your dealings with women (you sure got from agreeing to look for each other at a party to “women I date” pretty quickly!). Or maybe things were sort of cool and aloof with your ex and now in their wake you want the polar opposite. I don’t know! But I bet you do. Just relax, give yourself a break, do some heavy thinking and figure out where these new ideas about what you want are coming from, and then bounce the fuck around until you find someone who shares those ideas (or until your standards change again). It’s not unfair to hold a woman you’re dating to certain set of standards if she holds herself to the same set of standards. So go find one like that! In the meantime though, don’t you dare go around trying to make girls feel bad because their ideas about stuff are different from yours! Such a dick move, dude. Keep that up and your next letter’s gonna look like this:

“Recently, I got out of a relationship of just over a year. Literally the first weekend I was single, I went out and no girls talked to me or took me back to their place. Is it cause I called them all sluts? I thought they wanted to know that I thought they were sluts! Ugh. I tried again the following weekend, but still nothing. It went on like this every time I went out for the rest of my life, and now I’m dead. Too bad I didn’t live long enough to solve this mystery. Anyway, goodbye!”

See? SEE? Never judge.

Previously: Bacne, Oral Sex, and the “Intellectually Vacant.”

A Lady is one of several rotating ladies who know everything. Do you have any questions for A Lady?